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Down to look back to 1960 All Ireland winning team

By Micheal McGeary

Five men in particular will forever be part of Down folklore.

Kevin Mussen, a Hilltown teacher, has the distinction of being the first man to bring the Sam Maguire Cup across the border for the first time in 1960.

Mussen, the most unassuming of men, had soldiered with Down for over a decade when often winning a single game was an achievement in itself.

But all that changed with the arrival of Maurice Hayes, a man who believed in getting things done. For him life was full of opportunities not problems.

The Mr Fixit of his day, he had this great plan for Down football and nothing was going to get in his way.

Hayes was convinced that Down had the players and in tandem with trainer Barney Carr he set about drawing up an ambitious plan with the objective of bringing Sam to the Mournes for the first time.

On September 25, 1960, Down captain Mussen held aloft the Sam Maguire after his side had beaten Kerry 2-10 to 0-8.

Twelve months later they retained Sam with captain Paddy Doherty leading the way.

And before the decade was through Down did it for a third time, Joe Lennon leading the side to victory over Kerry in 1968.

That victory was especially sweet for the team included four players from the winning 1960 and 1961 sides.

In addition to Lennon there was the incomparable Doherty, Sean O’Neill and Dan McCartan.

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